Serata artistica giovanile
Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, SI
07 May 2008 – 15 May 2012
The starting points of the new performance Serata artistica giovanile by choreographer Maja Delak are expressionist piano compositions, full of fragments and complex dynamics, entitled Bagatelles, by Slovene composer Marij Kogoj (1892-1956). Besides Kogoj, the performance is informed by another avantgarde creator, the theatre director Ferdo Delak (1905-1968) and his project Serata artistica giovanile, which he understood as »the chorographical sketch of a life on stage«. The creators of the performance articulate corporeality marked by the stain/noise of social and political issues of the present through the prism of seven dynamic landscapes. This results in the establishment of a dynamic human figure that is tirelessly bound to communicate with its environment. Together with the music by Marij Kogoj, which will be performed live, and in dialogue with contemporary sound modulation and visual landscapes, the performance creates live images, where avantgarde ideas puncture the body, thus manifesting statements about the present moment.
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The main protagonist of Serata Artistica Giovanile is the body – a living character, committed to action and communication. The body, characterized by noise erupting after the break-down of communication channels, when the system’s temporarily interrupted signals or disturbances are replaced by corrections that result in reshaping erstwhile smooth and wholesome substance. This noise of the body testifies to disturbances, more or less problematic, sometimes painful and at other times exciting, but always complete in this intertwining of physical, rational and emotional experience in a given space-time.
In Serata Artistica Giovanile, the complexity of the body and its ability to produce intelligible discourses is committed to the following fundamental principles: the concept of a landscape, the historical avant-garde (form) and the reflection of the present-day (subject matter). The performance laid before the viewer, is composed of seven dynamic landscapes that generate different articulations of the physical marked by noise.
The landscapes are large structures which simultaneously exist on different planes. As to the content, they comprise emotions, corporeality and multiple historicities. Formally, the performance is constructed through the activities of a human figure in individual expression of ten performers, their presence and movement, which is sifted into an active, primal, erotic and vocal body. Then there is the material aspect of the visual component, manifested in the elements of nature, as well as the volume of sound shifting from modulated synthetics, the Bagatelles (by Marij Kogoj) performed live on piano, to speech.
The meta-structure of the performance is composed of short expressionistic piano compositions entitled Bagatelles (1932) by Slovene composer Marij Kogoj (1892–1956) which are full of fragments and complex dynamics. Each composition can be considered a self-contained universe, whilst together they reveal an atmosphere of a particular psychodynamic, which corresponds to the composer’s reflection of the world. Fragmented and complex, the dynamics of individual composition parts, which constitute a heterogeneous universe, represents both formal as well as thematical aspect that we pursued through the creation process.
The second plane of the meta-structure is represented by a futuristic evening in seven parts – Serata Artistica Giovanile – set up in 1926 in Gorizia (Italy) by Slovene director Ferdo Delak upon the invitation by Sofronio Pocarini (the organizer of cultural life in Gorizia), following Delak’s failed attempts to organize such similar artistic event in Ljubljana in 1925. The seven-part structure of the performance is quoting the structure of the aforementioned evening, whereby the theme – deriving from “the chorographical sketch of a life on stage” (as Delak described his attempted artistic evening) – is upgraded into a manifestation of the present-day experience. The choice of Kogoj and Delak as the essence of inspiration is anything but a coincidence. In a broader context, it associates the contemporary performance with the artistic and intellectual tradition of the milieu in which it was created, as well as re-affirms and re-contextualizes the two artists through the prism of today.
Serata Artistica Giovanile performs an emotional effect, generated by systemic violence, which controls contemporary society. Systemic violence operates invisibly and goes by unnoticed, masked in various, oftentimes implicitly violent social rituals, practiced unconsciously and obliviously in every day life. By performing these rituals, the mechanisms of certain ideology are being set up and kept in motion to keep controlling the social structures and consequently our very lives. Moreover, these rituals are so subtle a process that we don’t even notice them and thus overlook how the mechanisms of a certain ideology lay the foundations of social practices.
Choreography and direction: Maja Delak
Concept: Maja Delak, Marko Peljhan, Katja Praznik
Created and performed by: Matija Ferlin, Matej Kejžar, Jurij Konjar, Katja Kosi, Barbara Krajnc, Jelena Rusjan, Vlasta Veselko, Urška Vohar, Nataša Živković, Maja Delak
Original texts: Oscar Wilde – Salome (fragments), Ivan Mrak – Generating Arc light (fragments), Srečko Kosovel – Integrals (fragments), Jelena Rusjan – My country is the Aggressor Country, Jurij Konjar – Chronology of an Amnesia
Dramaturgy: Katja Praznik
Sound design: Luka Prinčič
Original score: Marij Kogoj: piano pieces from the cycle Bagatelles no. 5, 11, 12, 15, 16, Andantino Cantabile from the Piano Collection and a song When we were sleeping in the quiet night
Pianist: Marjan Peternel
Visual and light design: Marko Peljhan
Set planning: Nejc Trošt
Costume design: Nadja Bedjanič
Design: Špela Drašlar
Motion tracking: IMMEDIATE team (Prague, Koeln)
Technical execution: Technical Crew of Cankarjev dom
Set manufacturing: Aljoša Lozej
Technical coordination: Janko Oven
Translations: Barbara Hribar
Language editing: Melita Silič
Photography: Nada Žgank
Video: Tone Stojko
Office coordination: Nina Janež
Executive producer: Sabina Potočki
Co-production: Cankarjev dom Ljubljana, Zavod Projekt Atol Ljubljana
Supported by: Ministry of Culture RS; City of Ljubljana – the Department for Culture, Culture Programme of the European Union – project IMMEDIATE